Rich in culture and history, Nicosia, also known as Lefkosia, is the capital city of Cyprus and the last capital in the world to be still militarily divided. Split by the Green Line at Ledra, the northern side of the town is occupied by Turkey, while the southern side is free with both sides featuring beautiful old buildings, mosques, churches, and museums ranging from the Neolithic to Byzantine periods. Notable attractions include the Old Town and its 16th-century Venetian walls, the Famagusta, Kyrenia and Paphos gates, the 19th-century Faneromeni Church, the Selimiye Mosque, and Cyprus Museum. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Selimiye Mosque (Cathedral of Saint Sophia)
Located in the Turkish-controlled northern part of Nicosia, Selimiye Mosque, historically known as Cathedral of Saint Sophia, is a former Roman Catholic cathedral that has been converted into a mosque. The original Christian building was known as St. Sophia’s Cathedral, was begun by the Lusignans during the Crusades but was never completed. The conversion to a mosque took place in the 1500s after the Ottoman conquest, and most of the Christian iconography and tombstones of various Lusignan kings were removed. The mosque still retains some of the features of a Gothic church such as flying buttresses and traceried, alongside two tall minarets.
Selimiye Sk, Lefkosa 99010
© Cyprus Museum
The Cyprus Museum is the oldest and largest archaeological museum in the country and a treasure chest of ancient civilization and the gateway to Cyprus’ rich history. Also known as the Cyprus Archaeological Museum, the museum is home to an extensive collection of Cypriot antiquities and other artifacts found in numerous excavations around the island. Exhibits begin in the Stone Age and journey through to the Roman era, featuring coins, jewelry, sculptures, and other priceless treasures from the Ancient Greek Tombs of Salamis.
Museum 1, Nicosia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-86-58-54
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3.Old Town Nicosia
Old Town Nicosia oozes history and charm with cobblestone streets, lovely old buildings with colorful doorways and intricate balconies filled with blooming flower pots, and a bustling, vibrant atmosphere. The street of Ledra, which used to be Cyprus’ main trade street, is lined with historic buildings housing stylish boutiques and laid-back cafés. There is a checkpoint at the end of the street, and tourists with documentation can cross over and explore the Turkish section of the divided city until the end of the day. Interesting things to see in the Old Town include the Shacolas Tower Museum and Observatory, the only high rise in Ledra and from which spectacular panoramic views can be enjoyed from the top. Other attractions include the Cyprus Museum, the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre (NiMAC), the old Municipal Market Square, and the bustling Onasagorou Street is home to several fantastic fabric shops.
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4.Faneromeni Church, Nicosia, Cyprus
Located on Onasagorou Street in the historic Old Town, Faneromeni Church is one of the oldest and largest churches on the island. Constructed in 1222 as part of a Cistercian monastery for females, the church was rebuilt in 1715 after suffering extensive damage during an earthquake. It was named after an icon of the Virgin that was found in the ruins of the old church. The church features a beautiful dome basilica with cross-shaped vaults, interiors decorated with frescoes created by a Cypriot artist, Ioannis Kissonergis, and an ornate carved bishop’s throne created by master Papadopulos. A marble mausoleum houses the relics of the bishops and priests executed by the Ottomans in 1821.
Onassagorou, Nicosia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-67-32-96
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5.Nicosia Segway Tours
Explore the Old Town on a fun Segway tour. Tours leave from the Segway Station at the corner of Aeschylou Street in the Old Town and wine their way through the streets of the Old Town, passing the Phaneromeni Church, the Town Hall, Ayios Savvas Church, Laiki Yitonia, the Archbishop’s Palace, Hamam Omerye (Turkish baths), Famagusta Gate, and the ancient Venetian walls. Tours last three hours and are conducted on zero-emission, environmentally friendly, noiseless electric personal transporters that are easy and effortless to drive.
??s????? 77A, Nicosia 1011, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-76-37-36
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6.Athalassa National Forest Park
Located on the south-eastern edge of the city, Athalassa National Forest Park is an oasis of greenery with mature indigenous trees, endemic shrubs, and fragrant herbs. Spread over 840 hectares, the National Forest Park offers a wealth of outdoor recreational and educational activities, ranging from hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, backpacking, camping, picnicking, and birdwatching. The park is home to Botanical Gardens and a Visitor’s Center, which houses a variety of exhibits, including a scale model replica of the park, dioramas of the area’s vegetation, birds, mammals and reptiles, and biological samples, and fossils.
Aglantzia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-48-69-03
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7.Hamam Omerye, Nicosia, Cyprus
Hamam Ömerye is a traditional Turkish hammam dating back to the 14th-century. Housed in a beautiful historic building with small domes that was once an Augustinian church of St. Mary, the hammam was built around the time of Frankish and Venetian rule and was later converted into a mosque by Mustapha Pasha in 1571. Today, the hammam is still in use and offers visitors the opportunity to experience the ancient tradition of bathing in therapeutic waters. The historical building has been awarded for being an outstanding example of the Conservation of Architectural Heritage.
8 Tyllirias Square, Nicosia 1016, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-46-00-06
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8.Machairas Monastery, Nicosia, Cyprus
Located on the slopes of Kionia and surrounded by the Machairas Mountains, Machairas Monastery is a historic monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Situated at an altitude of almost 3,000 feet, the monastery was founded at the end of the 12th century and is one of the three Royal and Stavropegic on the island. The monastery houses the miraculous icon of Panagia (the Virgin Mary) of Machairas and a collection of old books and manuscripts, images, and other religious artifacts and is home to an extremely spiritual brotherhood who vows as strict as those of Mount Athos in Greece.
Machairas Monastery, Lazanias 2618, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-35-93-34
9.Artisan’s Burgerbar, Nicosia, Cyprus
© Artisan’s Burgerbar
Artisan’s Burgerbar is a casual restaurant that focuses on artisan burgers giving the beloved classic a modern twist. The sleek restaurant has stylish décor and a relaxed ambiance that is ideal for a laid-back lunch or business meeting and serves a wide range of handmade artisan burgers, fresh salads, sides, and a variety of vegetarian options. A full-service bar offers a selection of craft beers, casual wines from around the world, spirits, signature cocktails, sodas, and freshly brewed coffee.
20 Stasandrou, Nicosia, 1060, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-75-93-00
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10.Moondog's Bar & Grill, Nicosia, Cyprus
© Moondog's Bar & Grill
Moondog's Bar & Grill is a laid-back pub that serves elevated pub grub and craft beer served in a hip, space. The tavern-style eatery serves a menu of classic farm-to-table fare made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including crisp salads, wood-fired pizzas, prime steaks, and other meats, fresh seafood, hearty burgers and fries, and vegetarian dishes. The brewery provides a range of craft beers by the bottle and on tap, as well as casual wines, high-end spirits, and signature cocktails. Moondog's Bar & Grill has comfortable seating and is open for lunch and dinner.
Mykinon 7, Nicosia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-70-00-63-00
11.D.O.T Restaurant, Nicosia, Cyprus
© D.O.T Restaurant
D.O.T Restaurant is a stylish eatery near the Famagusta Gate that has been serving gourmet cuisine at affordable prices for over three years. The restaurant boasts a cozy and chic space with classic décor accented with vintage elements and serves a menu of gastronomic dishes and fine wines in an inviting and elegant ambiance. The menu features a range of locally sourced seafood, prime meats, fresh salads, pasta dishes, vegetarian options, and decadent desserts, and the food is accompanied by a selection of craft beers, casual wines from around the world, spirits, and signature cocktails.
Athinas 6a, Nicosia 1016, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-10-12-28
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12.Olives & Burgers Healthy Cafe
© Olives & Burgers Healthy Café
Olives & Burgers Healthy Café is a charming neighborhood eatery that serves a menu of all-American fare, including prime steaks and other meat dishes, ocean-fresh seafood and catch-of-the-day fish, handmade pasta and sauces, farm-fresh vegetables and herbs, and decadent desserts. Signature dishes include hearty burgers and sides, fresh fish, and vegetarian options, accompanied by easy-drinking wines from around the world, imported and local craft beers, and handcrafted cocktails. The café is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Prodromou 37D, Nicosia 1090, Cyprus, Phone: +357-77-77-74-47
13.48 Bistro, Nicosia, Cyprus
© 48 Bistro
48 Bistro is a friendly café that serves healthy fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The casual café serves a menu of hearty food made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including locally sourced seafood, prime meats, fresh salads, pasta dishes, vegetarian options, and decadent desserts. The bar offers an extensive selection of signature cocktails made with premium spirits, casual wines, craft beers, and sodas.
Arch. Makarios III Ave 48, Nicosia 1065, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-66-48-48
14.Vino Cultura, Nicosia, Cyprus
© Vino Cultura
Vino Cultura is an elegant wine bar that serves 30 wines by the glass. Decorated with high tables and low lighting, the stylish bar has temperature-controlled cellars in which a wide variety of wines from around the world, which can be enjoyed by the glass or bottle. The wine is paired with a range of delicious tapas and sharing plates featuring fresh seafood, prime meats, organic salads and vegetables, and wine can be bought directly from the shop. Vino Cultura also hosts wine seminars throughout the year.
Kyriakou Matsi 20, Nicosia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-67-67-07
15.Il Bacaro, Nicosia, Cyprus
© Il Bácaro
Il Bácaro is a cozy Italian bistro and full-service wine bar with an inviting atmosphere and candlelit tables that oozes Italian flair. Named after the humble taverns of Venice (bacari), which are traditionally gathering places for friends to enjoy great food and drinks in a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. Located in a quiet residential area away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, Il Bácaro is decorated in red and black with a casual trattoria-like setting and serves a menu of classic Italian cuisine such as Cicchetti (small Venetian bites), wood-fired pizzas, fresh salads, and other dishes from Venice and the surrounding regions.
131D Avenue, Prodromou, Nicosia 2064, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-67-69-69
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16.The Winery Wine Bar and Cellar
© The Winery Wine Bar and Cellar
Located in a quiet alley in the heart of Nicosia’s Old Town, the Winery Wine Bar and Cellar that houses an impressive selection of wines from around the world. The wine bar and cellar boast an expansive interior with stone walls, glass doors, decorative wooden furniture, and a huge cellar that houses all the wine. The Winery produces its own wines, and the wine-making equipment is located behind the bar for visitors to view and the Winery also offers a delicious assortment of platters, tapas and entrées to enjoy with the wine.
Nicosia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-51-19-25
17.To Potopolio, Nicosia, Cyprus
© To Potopolio
To Potopolio is a bustling after-work hangout bar that serves over 120 different wines from various wine-growing regions of the world, including France, Italy, and Spain. The bar also serves premium beers from Cyprus, Belgium, and Germany and a menu of tapas and sharing plates featuring fresh seafood, prime meats, organic salads, and vegetables. The quaint restaurant has a charming dining room and a small bar area and serves delicious dishes of fresh seafood and fish, prime steaks and chops, fresh salads and vegetables, handmade pasta and sauces, and mouthwatering desserts.
John Kennedy 44-46e, Nicosia, Cyprus, Phone: +357-22-42-05-07
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17 Best Things to Do in Nicosia, Cyprus
- Selimiye Mosque (Cathedral of Saint Sophia), Photo: kirill_makarov/stock.adobe.com
- Cyprus Museum, Photo: Cyprus Museum
- Old Town Nicosia, Photo: efesenko/stock.adobe.com
- Faneromeni Church, Nicosia, Cyprus, Photo: dudlajzov/stock.adobe.com
- Nicosia Segway Tours, Photo: Kzenon/stock.adobe.com
- Athalassa National Forest Park, Photo: Maristos/stock.adobe.com
- Hamam Omerye, Nicosia, Cyprus, Photo: dudlajzov/stock.adobe.com
- Machairas Monastery, Nicosia, Cyprus, Photo: dinosmichail/stock.adobe.com
- Artisan’s Burgerbar, Nicosia, Cyprus, Photo: Artisan’s Burgerbar
- Moondog's Bar & Grill, Nicosia, Cyprus, Photo: Moondog's Bar & Grill
- D.O.T Restaurant, Nicosia, Cyprus, Photo: D.O.T Restaurant
- Olives & Burgers Healthy Cafe, Photo: Olives & Burgers Healthy Café
- 48 Bistro, Nicosia, Cyprus, Photo: 48 Bistro
- Vino Cultura, Nicosia, Cyprus, Photo: Vino Cultura
- Il Bacaro, Nicosia, Cyprus, Photo: Il Bácaro
- The Winery Wine Bar and Cellar, Photo: The Winery Wine Bar and Cellar
- To Potopolio, Nicosia, Cyprus, Photo: To Potopolio
- Cover Photo: Klemen Misic/stock.adobe.com
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